Saturday, August 27, 2011

Comparison Between A RAW And A JPG From A Canon SD900

Today I decided to take a sheet of 100% cotton paper and curve it against the corner of the floor and the wall between the window sill in the bedroom. Affixed to the window sill was an inexpensive clamp light with a daylight compact fluorescent bulb.

Since my Canon SD900 can now record in both RAW and JPG thanks to the CHDK firmware hack I installed I decided to compare both to the finalized product.

JPG File From My Canon SD900

RAW File From My Canon SD900

Comparing the unedited JPG and RAW files, using in camera settings for white balance reveals that the white balance is still off. Since consumer point and shoot cameras tend to process the image a little
before saving it as a JPG file, the JPG file appears a little better, although at full resolution it would contain less contrast and an overall less quality about it. If one were to examine the subject, it is apparent that the colors of the shark tooth in the RAW file look more natural, albeit darker, then the JPG file.

Note how the watermark in the cotton paper appears to the left of the tooth. It probably wasn't the best thing to use for a background.

White Balanced JPG File

White Balanced RAW File

White Balancing of the RAW file reveals a much nicer image then the JPG file, although the corners are still too dark. The colors on the tooth look more natural and richer in the RAW image then the JPG one.
Cropping the image produces the following result:

As one can see, having more information in the image to work with, aka using a RAW file, is beneficial to consumer point and shoot cameras. I hope to rephotograph the shark tooth once I get a couple of more clip lights so that I can eliminate the shadows seen between the tooth and the underlying paper.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are Eurypterids Really Extinct?

A couple of years ago I was kayaking down the Uwahrrie River and when we pulled our kayaks aside momentarily I found a weird arthropod when I turned over a rock near the waters edge.

A closer look reveals the details

 I'm not sure what it is but it looks similar to a Eurypterid, Stylonurus, Mixopterus or Megarachne, although not nearly as large. Also, the appendages do look a little different. Does anyone really know what this little creature is?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recording RAW In A Point And Shoot Camera

Yesterday I discovered a website where those of us Canon point and shoot users who don't have an SLR, although I'm waiting for the 5D mark III to come out soon, can get many many more features for their camera.

Just when I thought that I've pushed my PowerShot SD900 to the limit, I discovered that there is a firmware hack allowing my camera to record photos in RAW format, have zebra stripes, etc., and most important of all - a built-in intervalometer.

Last year I experimented with making time lapse videos with my SD900 but looking at a timer and manually clicking the shoot button at regularly intervals. To minimize camera shake when shooting I would use a one second delay. The flow of the clouds are a little jerky since I had to manually push the button at regular intervals so I would have been off by a split second between each photo.

Here are a couple videos I took using that method.

Now that I can actually have my camera taking pictures without me having to sit with it I hope to get longer time lapse videos soon.

As far as RAW goes however, the camera will save the image in both RAW and JPG formats so it is easy to compare the quality of the JPG file versus the enhanced quality of the RAW image. Can you guess which one is the RAW and which one is the JPG? Click on the image to see it at full resolution.

Here are the links one can use to do this with their Canon point and shoot camera.

                    •     CHDK's Website

                    •     Download The Firmware Hacks For Your Model

                    •     Code For The Intervalometer

                    •     CHDK Installation Guide

                    •     CHDK User Guide

I hope you find it as useful as I did.